The first step in the settlement process after a car crash is negotiations with the at-fault driver’s insurance company. If both parties cannot agree on the appropriate payout amount, the plaintiff can choose to file a case in civil court.

While personal injury laws protect the public when someone’s carelessness causes them bodily harm and property damages, the procedures are complex. A qualified attorney skilled in handling car accident trials in Houston could protect your interests and help you reach a favorable outcome.

Insurance Company Communication and Negotiations After Collisions

This state is an at-fault driver state regarding responsibility for covering the damages caused by vehicle collisions. This means other involved motorists can file a claim with the liable driver’s auto insurance company. The insurer usually calls within a day or two to record a statement about the accident and discuss possible settlements.

Mistakenly saying something wrong or accepting a settlement too low to cover the damages can leave the driver paying for damages caused by someone else. An attorney in Houston could handle the communications to reach the proper compensation amount for the car crash. When negotiations fail, the next step is filing a case in civil court if the plaintiff wishes to move forward with a lawsuit against the at-fault driver.

Car Collision Trials

The case must establish the Houston defendant’s actions that caused the collision, making them liable for the damages to win a settlement in a court trial. The steps of a car wreck trial include:

  • Filing a civil lawsuit in court
  • Mediations to discuss possible settlements outside of court before the trial
  • The discovery phase involves both parties exchanging evidence and other information
  • Pre-trial motions, such as motions to change venues or exclude certain information
  • If mediation is unsuccessful, the next step is the courtroom trial, when the plaintiff’s personal injury attorney argues the case
  • If the plaintiff’s case proves liability successfully, the final step is collecting the settlement decided by the civil court

The parties often agree and settle through insurance company negotiations or mediation before trial.

Time Limit to File the Claim

The plaintiff has limited time to file claims in court to recover damages caused by another driver’s negligence. Under the guidelines of the Texas Civil Practice and Remedies Code § 16.003, the claimant must initiate legal action within two years of the day the vehicle collision occurred.

Although there are a few exceptions, missing the expiration date means losing the chance to collect damages from the at-fault party. During the consultation, a lawyer seasoned in handling cases for auto collision trials in Houston could go through the applicable statutes and answer specific questions about the process and potential compensation amounts.

Negligence Claims Involving Government Agencies

The recklessness of a driver carrying out their duties as a government employee, such as an accident with a bus driver, shortens the time limit to take action. The plaintiff must notify the agency of their plan to seek damages within six months, allowing time for them to respond to the claim before proceeding.

Speak to an Attorney in Houston About Car Crash Trials

Navigating the car wreck settlement process is complex. Establishing fault can present many challenges, and missing a step can lead to losing the opportunity to collect compensation for your damages and losses. Therefore, many seek help from a qualified lawyer experienced with handling car accident trials in Houston to help them and provide legal guidance throughout the civil court process.

A minor error could severely affect your case, reducing or eliminating your chance to collect damages from the negligent driver. Call today to learn more and schedule an appointment to review your case and learn more.